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ha’fway 2017

4th Jul 17 (Tue) Leave a comment

Happy 241st birthday, United States!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Ah, the annual halfway through the year music recap where I rarely post an end of year recap. *eyeroll* Eh… I don’t blog much anymore… regardless, here goes for my Top 10 of 2017 so far…



Artist Album (style)

  1. Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, Nico Mulhy & James McAlisterPlanetarium (indie rock)
  2. Burning GhostsReclamation (jazz metal)
  3. KXM (Doug Pinnick / George Lynch / Ray Luzier) – Scatterbrain (hard rock)
  4. Peter MulveyAre You Listening? (singer-songwriter)
  5. SexmobCultural Capital (jazz)
  6. David BazanCare (indie rock)
  7. Ani DiFrancoBinary (singer-songwriter)
  8. Future IslandsThe Far Field (indie pop)
  9. Mostly Other People Do the Killing (with Steven Bernstein of Sexmob) – Loafer’s Hollow (jazz)
  10. Incubus8 (rock)

Honorable mentions…

  • Albums by Lydia Ainsworth, Alt-J, Brian Marsella Trio’s Masada Book Two, Aimee Mann, Dave Douglas’ Riverside, and Throttle Elevator Music (Kamasi Washington).
  • EP – ANOHNI’s Paradise
  • Live – ISIS’ Live VII: 2.25.2010
  • Re-issues – Pink Floyd early years boxset(s), the Beatles Srgt. Pepper’s 50th, U2 The Joshua Tree 30th, Radiohead OK Computer 20th
  • Novelty – A**l Trump’s If You Thought ********* **** Was a Lot of People, You Should Have Seen My Inauguration 5″ vinyl (in “Seth Putnam form,” shall we say).

What’s still to come in 2017…

Claypool-Lennon Delirium 12″ (RSD wider-issue), Spotlights, Antibalas, Steven Wilson, Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Mogwai, Radiohead OKNOTOK (physical), Failure live vinyl, Lo Tom (David Bazan, TW Walsh & Starflyer 59 folks), Celldweller, The National, Secret Chiefs 3, Weird Al boxset, plus much more, I’m sure.

Will I continue with blogs in the future? I don’t know. :P

Dan – np: Critters BugginMuti -EP-

ha’fway 2016

4th Jul 16 (Mon) Leave a comment

Happy 240th birthday, United States!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Ah, the annual halfway through the year music recap where I never post an end of year recap. *eyeroll* Eh… I don’t blog much anymore… regardless, here goes for my Top 10 of 2016 so far…

Sia - This is Acting81toq1nqrhl-_sx522_71526zlzvzl-_sx522_
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Artist Album (style)

  1. SiaThis Is Acting (pop)
  2. RadioheadA Moon Shaped Pool (rock)
  3. WussyForever Sounds (indie rock)
  4. Holy FuckCONGRATS (live electronic)
  5. Elliott SmithHeaven Adores You (soundtrack) (indie rock)
  6. Steve Taylor & the Danielson FoilWOW to the Deadness -EP- (indie rock)
  7. David BazanBlanco (indie rock)
  8. Allison Miller’s Boom Tic BoomOtis Was a Polar Bear (jazz)
  9. The Claypool-Lennon DeliriumMonolith of Phobos (rock)
  10. Damien JuradoVisions of Us on the Land (indie rock)

What’s still to come in 2016…

Chevelle, Peter Mulvey (it’s in the can), Alex Somers’ score for Captain Fantastic, John Zorn (about every month), TOOL (music done, lyrics nearing completion?), Sigur Rós (maybe 2017), Charlie Hunter, and based on kickstarters/pledgemusic that I’ve supported: Jeremy Enigk of Sunny Day Real Estate, Derek Webb‘s Mockingbird Remixed and Fleming & John, plus much more, I’m sure.

Will I continue with blogs in the future? I don’t know. :P

Dan – np: AuragamiFormation (single)
13346801_10209604018116241_902957880869638627_n

Wussy @ Alhambra Theatre (Portland, OR – 6/21/14)

22nd Jun 14 (Sun) Leave a comment

I know, it’s been a while since blogging… took too long of a hiatus. At any rate, Cincinnati indie rock band Wussy has a new album out now — Attica! And they just swung through Portland. Here’s what they played…

Teenage Wasteland
Rainbows and Butterflies
Bug
Pulverized
Pizza King
Mountain of Tires
Gene I Dream
To The Lightning
Happiness Bleeds
Muscle Cars
Maglite
Death by Misadventure
Yellow Cotton Dress
Beautiful

Encore: Airborne
Don’t Leave Just Now (not on printed setlist)
Rigor Mortis

My photos below…

Image

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

~Dan – np: WussyAttica!

SETLIST: David Bazan @ Gutenberg College (Eugene, OR – 4/24/13)

25th Apr 13 (Thu) Leave a comment

David Bazan at Gutenberg College, EugeneDavid Bazan is off on another jaunt of a 40+ house concert tour.  Last night’s show at the McKenzie Study Center at Gutenberg College wasn’t technically a “house,” but it still had that living room feel.

He showed up a tad late, but after quickly setting up, he entertained a few questions and then kicked into his set…

Setlist: about 75 minutes

  • Q&A #1
  • Hot Girls [Headphones]
  • Fewer Broken Pieces
  • Big Trucks [Pedro the Lion]
  • Man In Me [Bob Dylan]
  • Q&A #2
  • “I write it down for what it’s worth” [new song, no title mentioned]
  • Hard To Be
  • Virginia
  • Shit Talker [Headphones]
  • Q&A #3
  • Wolves At The Door
  • Selling Advertising
  • Of Minor Prophets and Their Prostitute Wives [Pedro the Lion]
  • Q&A #4
  • The Fleecing [Pedro the Lion]
  • Cold Beer and Cigarettes
  • Q&A #5
  • Strange Negotiations
    No Encore

David Bazan at Gutenberg College, Eugene

Some Bazan-related news…

David Bazan and friends - Overseas1) His newest side-project Overseas is up for pre-order now.  If you pre-order it, you get a download of the full album immediately.  I got it a couple weeks ago, and I dig it.  Overseas is David Bazan, Will Johnson, Matt Kadane and Bubba Kadane…. and in the 2nd Q&A I asked if they were going to tour.  He said that they will likely do a limited set of dates: a few Texas dates, New York area dates, and then a limited West Coast run (LA, SF, Portland, Seattle).

2) On this tour, though he didn’t have them available last night, is a art print that comes with a download code for a Covers EP.  He didn’t have them last night, but noted that we could buy it online (soon) without shipping fees.  He should have them soon on some of the other dates on this tour.  He mentioned the Bob Dylan cover, Radiohead’s “Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd Tin Box,” and a few others will be included.

The Appropriate Linkage:

This was his second date of this tour… check out more tour dates below (sorry, many are already sold out).

Next show for me… Infected Mushroom at McDonald Theater (4/25).

~Dan – np: Pet Bottle Ningen – Non-Recyclable
Pet Bottle Ningen - Non-Recyclable

David Bazan – Spring 2013 House Show Tour

04/23/13 Tue – Portland OR – SOLD OUT
04/24/13 Wed – Eugene OR – SOLD OUT
04/25/13 Thu – Redding CA
04/26/13 Fri – Sacramento CA – SOLD OUT
04/27/13 Sat – San Francisco CA – SOLD OUT
04/28/13 Sun – Hollister CA
04/29/13 Mon – OFF
04/30/13 Tue – Los Angeles CA – SOLD OUT
05/01/13 Wed – Costa Mesa CA – SOLD OUT
05/02/13 Thu – Riverside CA – SOLD OUT
05/03/13 Fri – San Diego CA – SOLD OUT
05/04/13 Sat – Tucson AZ – SOLD OUT
05/05/13 Sun – Phoenix AZ – SOLD OUT
05/06/13 Mon – OFF
05/07/13 Tue – Graham TX
05/08/13 Wed – San Antonio TX – SOLD OUT
05/09/13 Thu – Houston TX – SOLD OUT
05/10/13 Fri – Baton Rouge LA
05/11/13 Sat – New Orleans LA – SOLD OUT
05/12/13 Sun – OFF
05/13/13 Mon – Orlando FL – SOLD OUT
05/14/13 Tue – Jacksonville FL – SOLD OUT
05/15/13 Wed – Augusta GA – SOLD OUT
05/16/13 Thu – Atlanta GA – SOLD OUT
05/17/13 Fri – Columbus GA
05/18/13 Sat – Birmingham AL – SOLD OUT
05/19/13 Sun – Memphis TN
05/20/13 Mon – OFF
05/21/13 Tue – St Louis MO – SOLD OUT
05/22/13 Wed – Kansas City MO – SOLD OUT
05/23/13 Thu – Tulsa OK – SOLD OUT
05/24/13 Fri – Oklahoma City OK – SOLD OUT
05/25/13 Sat – Lubbock TX
05/26/13 Sun – Los Alamos NM
05/27/13 Mon – Prescott AZ
05/28/13 Tue – Las Vegas NV
05/29/13 Wed – OFF
05/30/13 Thu – Davis CA
05/31/13 Fri – Chico CA – SOLD OUT
06/01/13 Sat – Phoenix OR (Medford)
06/02/13 Sun – Portland OR – SOLD OUT

http://www.undertowstore.com/artist/overseas

REVIEW: Sarah Kirkland-Snider’s PENELOPE featuring Shara Worden & FearNoMusic @ Alberta Rose (Portland, OR – 2/2/13)

4th Feb 13 (Mon) Leave a comment

Sarah Kirkland-Snider (L) & Shara Worden (R)Ever the Shara Worden / My Brightest Diamond fanboy, I got PENELOPE – the collaboration with composer Sarah Kirkland-Snider – back when it came out in 2010.

I loved the record then… dark, light, moving, haunting, gorgeous emotions not only from Shara’s voice but also from the musical compositions.  PENELOPEPenelope is a song cycle / concept album, inspired by a journey and coming home a la Homer’s Odyssey.  Read more about it here.

Never did I think I’d have a chance to see it performed live.  I mean, I’ve seen My Brightest Diamond plenty of times, but I always thought of Penelope as a one-off – solely an album collaboration.  A very good album collaboration, but an album collaboration nonetheless.

I only found out about the one-night only show with Portland’s FearNoMusic chamber ensemble about two weeks ago, but I bought I ticket without consulting my calendar.  Luckily nothing was on my calendar… but honestly, if something had been, I would have had to change my plans anyway.

The show was as gorgeous as the record,if not more.  Quite moving and amazing to hear in the room: the strings, the horns, the woodwinds, the powerful voice.  There is a lot of pain in the words, but also a hope in starting over… blown over by the wind, turned over by the tide.  At least that’s what I take out of it.  It left me with hope.

Setlist: ~70 mins

  • The Stranger with the Face of a Man I Loved
  • This Is What You’re Like
  • The Honeyed Fruit
  • The Lotus Eaters [music video]
  • Nausicaa
  • Circe and the Hanged Man
  • I Died of Waiting
  • Home
  • Dead Friend
  • Calypso
  • And Then You Shall Be Lost Indeed
  • Open Hands
  • Baby Teeth, Bones, and Bullets
  • As He Looks Out to Sea
  • Encore: Be Brave

Shara Worden’s stunning vocal delivery was joined by FearNoMusic conducted by Katherine FitzGibbon with Inés Voglar, violin; Joël Belgique, viola; Nancy Ives, cello; Alicia Paulsen, flute; Mark Dubac, clarinet; Leander Star, French horn; Jeffrey Work, trumpet; Dan Balmer, guitar; and Sergio Carreño, drum set and percussion.

Shara kicked off her heels (literally) for the encore MBD song.  I’m glad that Shara played at least one tune from her own catalog… but honestly, it wasn’t needed.  Penelope worked on so many great levels in a live setting.

There are a few more Penelope dates scheduled… Minnesota, Indiana, and New York so far.  Check out Sarah Kirkland-Snider’s events page.

The Appropriate Linkage:

And, I promise, I’ll get my gosh-darn “Best Of 2012” list posted soon… I’m horrible this time.  The next show for me is Ben Folds Five @ Roseland (Portland) on 2/5.

~Dan – np: Tomahawk – Oddfellows
Tomahawk - Oddfellows

*FREE DOWNLOAD* Wussy’s Berneice Huff and son, Bill sings… Popular Favorites

4th Jan 13 (Fri) Leave a comment

Cincinnati rock quartet Wussy just released this collection of rarities, bsides and live tracks FOR FREE

Berneice Huff and son, Bill sings… Popular Favorites

Wussy - Berneice HuffAs a thank-you to our fans’ support and generosity in 2012, we are happy to present a free download album of rarities, B-sides and demos.

  1. Terry Gross Intro
  2. Nomenclature
  3. Maglite (remix)
  4. First Concert
  5. Bought It Again (demo)
  6. Blood & Guts
  7. WOXY Intro
  8. Rigor Mortis (live)
  9. Retarded
  10. Bedroom Posters
  11. Jonah (demo)
  12. Airborne (acoustic)
  13. Musical Style
  14. Linda Linda/Sweetie Sweetie (live)
  15. All the Bugs Are Growing (demo)
  16. Run Away
  17. What Band Would You Erase…
  18. Soak It Up (demo)

~Dan – np: O.S.I.Fire Make Thunder
OSI - Fire Make Thunder

REVIEW: Sufjan Stevens presents the Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long: Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant On Ice @ Aladdin Theater (Portland, OR – 12/6/12)

7th Dec 12 (Fri) 5 comments

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

Sufjan's 2012 hristmas Sing-a-long Tour

I hate Christmas music.  There are a few rare instances where it doesn’t make me cringe.  Over the Rhine’s Darkest Night of the Year and Monk’s How Like A Winter are rare exceptions.  One of my favorite artists, Sufjan Stevens, has put out Christmas EPs each year for his closest group of friends, and then they eventually make their way out to the public via now two EP boxsets (Songs For Christmas & Silver and Gold).  While some of the more standard Christmasy songs from Sufjan make me cringe (it’s not his fault), he finds a way to have some experimentation and wild unique new songs that makes the boxsets fully enjoyable… even for a bah-humbug like me.  And the boxsets also include cool arts and crafts…

Sheila Saputo (aka Rosie Thomas)

Despite my dislike of Chrtistmas songs, when I found out that Sufjan was bringing his 2012 Christmas Sing-a-Long tour (the Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long: Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant On Ice) through Portland’s Aladdin Theater, I knew I needed to go.

His opener / tour co-hort is Sheila Saputo… the quirky comedic alter ego of singer-songwriter Rosie Thomassee her trailer here.

Sheila put on a 20 minute set of fairly ridiculous, self-depricating humor.. partially eating a carrot throughout the set, making balloon “animals” (term used very loosely), and spelling out the important aspects of the acronym CAROLS: Carnal Treasures, Armageddon, etc (see photos at the bottom).

At 8:45pm, Sufjan and his band hit the stage (including the de-frocked Sheila Saputo/Rosie Thomas in a snowman suit).  They started things off in front of the stage curtain with a gentle acappella version of “Christmas Time Is Here,” then… curtains up and behold the majesty of the Wheel of Christmas!!!

The set was obviously going to be full of Christmas songs.  Some on their setlist and some chosen “randomly.”  For many of the Wheel of Christmas Sing-a-Long tunes, they brought up members of the audience to spin for the selection.  Near the end, some rigging of the wheel had to be done to fit in some we hadn’t done yet.  I think we hit everything on the Wheel except for “Silent Night.”

They also threw in a few non-Christmas tunes throughout the set and at the encore…

Setlist: 2 hrs 10 mins

  • Christmas Time Is Here (acappella) [Vince Guaraldi]
  • Christmas Woman
  • Come On! Let’s Boogey to the Elf Dance!
  • Do You Hear What I Hear?
  • Justice Delivers Its Death*
  • Joy to the World (Wheel of Christmas Sing-A-Long)
  • Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Wheel)
  • A Holly Jolly Christmas (Wheel)
  • Jingle Bells (Wheel)
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas (Wheel)
  • Vito’s Ordination Song*
  • Put the Lights on the Tree
  • How Shall I Fitly Greet Thee?
  • I Am Santa’s Helper
  • “Frosty” (improv rock, chant, Rosie cutting santa up with plastic chainsaw)
  • Sister Winter*
  • Ah Holy Jesus
  • The Child with the Star on His Head*
  • Sleigh Ride (Wheel, noted as “Slay Ride”)
  • O Holy Night (Wheel)
  • We Need a Little Christmas (Wheel)
  • Auld Lang Syne* (Wheel)
  • Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (Wheel)
  • For the Widows in Paradise, For the Fatherless in Ypsilanti*
  • Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
  • That Was the Worst Christmas Ever!*
  • Christmas Unicorn*
  • Encore: Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois*
  • Futile Devices*
  • Chicago*
  • Come On! Feel the Illinoise!*
    *
    personal favorites from the night

I truly hate most Christmas music, but this was a FUUUUUUUUUUUUUN show!  Sufjan and his band make the music fun, the original tunes (even if Christmasy) are spectacles of greatness or touching, gentler tunes, and the overall party factor of this tour is truly astounding.  I’d hate to have been on the clean-up crew… confetti, streamers, popped balloons, and random blow-up animals and santas…

many more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out more tour dates below.

Next show for me… Charlie Hunter @ Mississippi Studios (12/7) and Antibalas @ Hawthorne (12/8).

~Dan – np: John ZornRimbaud
John Zorn - Rimbaud

SUFJAN STEVENS CHRISTMAS SING-A-LONG PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2012 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Sufjan Stevens Fall 2012 Tour Dates

  • Fri Nov 23, 2012 – Philadelphia PA Union Transfer
  • Sat Nov 24, 2012 – Washington DC 9:30 Club
  • Sun Nov 25, 2012 – Saxapahaw NC The Haw River Ballroom
  • Mon Nov 26, 2012 – Athens GA The Georgia Theatre
  • Tue Nov 27, 2012 – Chattanooga TN Track 29
  • Wed Nov 28, 2012 – Oxford MS The Lyric Oxford
  • Fri Nov 30, 2012 – Dallas TX Granada Theater
  • Sat Dec 01, 2012 – Austin TX Emo’s East
  • Mon Dec 03, 2012 – Tucson AZ Rialto Theatre
  • Tue Dec 04, 2012 – Los Angeles CA The Fonda Theatre (formerly The Music Box)
  • Wed Dec 05, 2012 – San Francisco CA Great American Music Hall
  • Thu Dec 06, 2012 – Portland OR Aladdin Theater
  • Sat Dec 08, 2012 – Seattle WA Neptune Theatre
  • Sun Dec 09, 2012 – Missoula MT Wilma Theatre
  • Wed Dec 12, 2012 – Minneapolis MN Mill City Nights (Formerly The Brick)
  • Thu Dec 13, 2012 – Milwaukee WI Turner Hall
  • Fri Dec 14, 2012 – Indianapolis IN Deluxe @ Old National Centre
  • Sat Dec 15, 2012 – Chicago IL Metro
  • Sun Dec 16, 2012 – Cleveland OH Beachland Ballroom
  • Tue Dec 18, 2012 – Buffalo NY Asbury Hall @ Babeville
  • Wed Dec 19, 2012 – Providence RI Fete
  • Thu Dec 20, 2012 – Boston MA Royale
  • Fri Dec 21, 2012 – New York NY Bowery Ballroom
  • Sat Dec 22, 2012 – New York NY Bowery Ballroom

Sufjan Stevens – Nov/Dec 2012 Tour

10th Oct 12 (Wed) Leave a comment

As reported last week, Sufjan Stevens is releasing a new Christmas boxset this winter – and now, he just announced a tour in the U.S….

Sufjan Stevens’ 2012 Tour Dates with Sheila Saputo

aka The Sirfjam Stephanapolous Christmas Sing-A-Long
Seasonal Affective Disorder Spectacular Music Pageant
Variety Show Distaster

  • Fri Nov 23, 2012 – Philadelphia PA Union Transfer
  • Sat Nov 24, 2012 – Washington DC 9:30 Club
  • Sun Nov 25, 2012 – Saxapahaw NC The Haw River Ballroom 
  • Mon Nov 26, 2012 – Athens GA The Georgia Theatre
  • Tue Nov 27, 2012 – Chattanooga TN Track 29
  • Wed Nov 28, 2012 – Oxford MS The Lyric Oxford
  • Fri Nov 30, 2012 – Dallas TX Granada Theater
  • Sat Dec 01, 2012 – Austin TX Emo’s East
  • Mon Dec 03, 2012 – Tucson AZ Rialto Theatre
  • Tue Dec 04, 2012 – Los Angeles CA The Fonda Theatre (formerly The Music Box)
  • Wed Dec 05, 2012 – San Francisco CA Great American Music Hall
  • Thu Dec 06, 2012 – Portland OR Aladdin Theater
  • Sat Dec 08, 2012 – Seattle WA Neptune Theatre
  • Sun Dec 09, 2012 – Missoula MT Wilma Theatre
  • Wed Dec 12, 2012 – Minneapolis MN Mill City Nights (Formerly The Brick)
  • Thu Dec 13, 2012 – Milwaukee WI Turner Hall
  • Fri Dec 14, 2012 – Indianapolis IN Deluxe @ Old National Centre
  • Sat Dec 15, 2012 – Chicago IL Metro
  • Sun Dec 16, 2012 – Cleveland OH Beachland Ballroom
  • Tue Dec 18, 2012 – Buffalo NY Asbury Hall @ Babeville
  • Wed Dec 19, 2012 – Providence RI Fete
  • Thu Dec 20, 2012 – Boston MA Royale
  • Fri Dec 21, 2012 – New York NY Bowery Ballroom
  • Sat Dec 22, 2012 – New York NY Bowery Ballroom

Sufjan Stevens will jingle-jangle his way across America, bringing yuletide cheer to your local music club, sharing reverent hymns and pop carols from his upcoming Christmas album Silver & Gold. “The Sirfjam Stephanapolous Christmas Sing-A-Long Seasonal Affective Disorder Spectacular Music Pageant Variety Show Distaster” will be a tragic-comedic feast for the ears and eyes.

Sufjan will be joined by a 5-piece band (including Rosie Thomas, Nedelle Torissi, Casey Foubert, James McAlister, and Ben Lanz) playing all the hits from both Christmas box sets. Send us your song requests!

All Grinches be forewarned: the show will consist entirely of Christmas music, inviting audience participation.

Extra-special guest Sheila Saputo—the hottest ticket from Gary, Indiana—will be opening all dates with her indelible ice-breaking pizzazz.

General admission goes on sale on Friday (10/12). Check your local venue for ticket links and availability times.  A very limited number of presale tickets will go on sale Wednesday October 10th at 10am (in whatever timezone the venue is in). Don’t worry if you don’t get a ticket on Wednesday – general admission goes on sale on Friday.  Click here to buy presale tickets (available at 10am on October 10th in the venue’s timezone).

Pre-order his upcoming Silver and Gold (Christmas EP boxset #2) on 5 CDs or 58 mp3.  The 5-vinyl set appears to be sold out (via bandcamp).

~Dan – np: Charlie Hunter & Scott AmendolaNot Getting Behind Is The New Getting Ahead

Sufjan Stevens’ Silver & Gold (Xmas EP #’s 6-10)

2nd Oct 12 (Tue) Leave a comment

Update: the stop-motion Lego video is at the bottom.

Pre-order his upcoming Silver and Gold (Christmas EP boxset #2) on 5 CDs or 58 mp3.  The 5-vinyl set appears to be sold out (via bandcamp).

“Happy Holidays! On November 13, 2012, Asthmatic Kitty Records will release (another!) Christmas box-set extravaganza by the implacable singer/songwriter Sufjan StevensSilver & Gold: Songs for Christmas, Vols. 6-10, a compilation of 5 EPs recorded between 2006 and 2010.

Expanding on the tradition of the first box-set (Songs for Christmas, Vols. 1-5 from 2006), Silver & Gold is a generous document of five more years of holly-jolly jubilee — Christmas caroling, sleigh-bell-ringing, collaborative songwriting — undertaken by Sufjan and his various musical cohorts. Originally intended as gifts for family and friends, these musical snapshots have been re-mixed and re-assembled for the public in an exquisitely-designed gift box containing all the Yuletide pleasures money can buy: Christmas stickers, temporary tattoos, lyric sheets and chord charts, a paper ornament, an apocalyptic pull-out poster, photos, illustrations, and extensive liner notes—a veritable Christmas feast for the eyes and ears.

The album features collaborations with a running line-up of friends and musical peers, including Aaron and Bryce Dessner (The National), Richard Reed Parry (Arcade Fire), Cat Martino (Sufjan’s right-hand woman on all things Age of Adz), Sebastian Krueger (Inlets), Gabriel Kahane, Vesper Stamper, and members of Danielson (Daniel, Elin, Lilly, and Ida). Sufjan’s own indelible aesthetic and his tireless oblique strategies (in vain pursuit of the perfect Christmas song) maintain the album’s center of gravity, resulting in an abundant compilation (nearly 60 tracks) that investigates the canon of devotional hymns and holiday pop songs with reckless abandon (totaling nearly three hours of music).

Silver & Gold surpasses its predecessor both in style and scope by taking a wider stance and embracing a more liberal ethos. The box-set sails through musical fashions as various as ornaments on a Christmas tree (covering songs from John Dowland to Johnny Marks). The folksy old-world renaissance of Gloria (Vol. 6) gives way to bi-polar impertinence on I Am Santa’s Helper (Vol. 7). Christmas Infinity Voyage (Vol. 8) looks to the cosmos (and the drum machine) for inspiration, while Let It Snow (Vol. 9) and Christmas Unicorn (Vol.10) show a giddy return to form, unselfconsciously reveling in all the bubble-gum show tunes from the 1950s and 60s (“A Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Sleigh Ride,” and “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” to name a few).

There are also 18 original songs intermixed throughout (some of them co-written or wholly composed by guest collaborators). Sufjan’s contribution to the Christmas canon exhibits an ever-expanding canopy of approaches: there’s the moody and affectionate Christmas ballad (“Happy Karma Christmas”), an ecclesiastical take on the Burl Ives classic “Silver & Gold” (re-titled here as “Justice Delivers Its Gift”), the rowdy, garage-rock, rumble-in-the-snow-bank (“Mr. Frosty Man”) and the psychedelic pop-anthem (“Christmas Unicorn”) that attempts to reconcile new age magic, fantasy fiction, and the commodification of Christmas with expository deftness.

Silver & Gold is more than just another Christmas album, but an ongoing exercise in theme and variation, an annual tradition that offers this songwriter a chance to experiment with fashion and technique without taking himself too seriously. Sufjan’s playful (yet purposeful) expedition through the superficial landscape of sugar plum fairies and marshmallow fluff has produced an exuberant musical account of “all things Christmas” in the pursuit of the sublime. What distinguishes this project from the glut of Christmas albums saturating the market today are Sufjan’s unguarded enthusiasm for the genre itself (the sense of freedom he shows in celebrating with reverence and rebellion) and the belief that Christmas music contains a multiplicity of sacred and secular significance (from Baby Jesus to Babes in Toyland) that is ultimately ours for the taking. It’s safe to say that no one has taken it further than Sufjan, for better and for worse.

Thanks for listening and may all your Christmas dreams come true.

Silver & Gold will be available in digital download, a CD box-set available November 13th, with a limited edition of 2000 vinyl box-sets available later this year or early 2013.

A special edition of the vinyl boxset, which will include some extra surprises, is available to US/Canada/EU for pre-order:

http://sufjanstevens.bandcamp.com/album/silver-gold

The CD Boxset includes: (price not listed yet)

1. Five CD EPs

2. Christmas stickers

3. Temporary tattoos  (non-toxic & safe for children)

4. A paper ornament (self-assembly with directions)

5. An apocalyptic pull-out poster

6. Song lyrics and chord charts (sing along with your friends and enemies)

7. Hallucinogenic photographs and psychedelic graphic design (by Sufjan Stevens, drug-free since 1975)

8. Extensive liner notes (introductory salutations and an essay on the Christmas tree by Sufjan Stevens, and a few theological words on the End Times by Pastor Vito Aiuto)

The vinyl boxset includes: ($120 + S/H)

1. Five EPs on 6 vinyl discs

2. Christmas stickers

3. Temporary tattoos

4. A paper ornament

5. A 40-page Christmas songbook with vocal and piano reductions

6. A Christmas coloring book

7. Hallucinogenic photographs and psychedelic graphic design

8. Extensive liner notes

Whoa!

Sufjan Stevens Lego Movie

~Dan – np: Carla Kihlstedt & Matthias BossiNiagara Falling: Tales for the Stage, III

REVIEW: My Brightest Diamond @ Pantages Theater (Tacoma, WA – 9/22/12)

24th Sep 12 (Mon) 3 comments

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

Outside of a college football traffic-filled I-5 and a rainbow roll sushi before the show, there was no opener for My Brightest Diamond this weekend for me.  She was the first after “dinner break” act for Tacoma’s 9/22-9/23 weekend Broadway Center Free For All.  A free one-off show in the Pacific Northwest by one of my absolute favorite artists!!  Well, free outside of the time and gas money… I wasn’t going to pass this up.

Dressed in colorful balls, spikes, and pipe cleaner, My Brightest Diamond (Shara Worden) started the show by coming out in a mask and dumping two large trash bags full of bright orange balloons on the stage.

She played a short set, but hit some great high-points from her three album catalog and switched around a lot on various instruments: ukulele, keyboards, mbira, electric guitar…

Product Details Product Details Product Details

Setlist:

  • We Added It Up
  • Golden Star
  • Escape Routes
  • Be Brave
  • Apples
  • High Low Middle
  • I Have Never Loved Someone
  • Inside A Boy

Her quirkiness and fun-loving vibe shone through.  This being a free show, I’m hoping she attracted some new followers with her charms.  As far as what’s next for her?  Well, she’s bound to show up on someone’s record here, or a collaborative single there, or a remix album over there, or a new album in a bit.  She’s currently not specifically touring; so any chance she comes through your parts for a one-off show – check her out.  You shan’t be disappointed!

more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

Next show for me… Chevelle at Crystal Ballroom on 9/25.

~Dan – np: ChevelleThis Type Of Thinking (Could Do Us In)

My Brightest Diamond PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2012 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Levi Weaver “Rogue Boat” (video)

22nd Aug 12 (Wed) Leave a comment

It seems like just weeks ago that singer-songwriter Levi Weaver was playing my living room… oh wait, it was (Eugene house show review here).  His latest music video just came out.  Check out “Rogue Boat” here:

“Rogue Boat” is from his latest EP, I Am Only A Tiny Noise.  Listen and buy that one over at Bandcamp or over at the Amazons!

~Dan – np: Levi WeaverI Am Only A Tiny Noise

REVIEW: Levi Weaver @ House Show (Eugene, OR – 7/16/12)

19th Jul 12 (Thu) 2 comments

How did I get into Nashville-based singer-songwriter Levi Weaver?

Well, um… is “Yahoo! fantasy baseball league via twitter” a valid explanation?  Well, it’s how it went down.  After following him, he had posted something about his documentary String Theory, then I sent him a “hey next time you’re in Oregon let me know” message, and then he sent me a “well actually” message… and the rest is history.

This was only my 3rd house show to host and/or coordinate (Susan Enan & Peter Mulvey being the other two), but it went smoothly.  Levi is a delight to work with, and he’s a true professional.  He’s still in the midst of shooting the String Theory doc; so he had a two-person crew with him.

A little sparser attendance than I was going for due to being the Monday right after Oregon Country Fair, we still had a decent turnout for Levi’s lovely set.  I’m still getting familiar with his music, but from his hour-long set he started with “String Theory” (on mandolin) then Radiohead’sIdioteque” (with plenty of loops, bowed guitar and effects).

After my post-show delving into his music, other tunes played were: You Are Home, Which Drink?, Good From Evil, We’re Tornadoes When We Dance, Spirit First (I think?) and a few more.  Here are some shots from the show… I had front row couch seats… (click for larger)

He has tons of fantastic music out there.  Check it out on bandcamp (links below), support indie music, check him out when he swings by your town, and enjoy!

Civil War Between My Heart and Mind cover art You Are Never Close To Home, You Are Never Far From Home cover art The Letters of Dr. Kurt Gödel cover art
Twenty Thousand Miles cover art I Am Only a Tiny Noise cover art

The Appropriate Linkage:

Next show for me… Bad Mitten Orchestre at WOW Hall on 7/21.

~Dan – np: Tin Hat & e.e. cummingsthe rain is a handsome animal

Ben Folds Five – The Sound of the Life of the Mind (album art)

14th Jul 12 (Sat) Leave a comment

The new Ben Folds Five record had a name and album art*… the art for The Sound of the Life of the Mind was posted on the PledgeMusic page yesterday:

Go to the PledgeMusic page to support:

http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/benfoldsfive

7/17 update: The CD & vinyl is available for pre-order on Amazon now!!

*– “alleged album art & name.  If you remember what Ben Folds did for Way To Normal by leaking a nearly full “fake” album ahead of the regular album… well, take things with a grain of salt. :)

~Dan – np: CelldwellerFirst Person Shooter

new music from Nellie McKay & My Brightest Diamond

22nd Mar 12 (Thu) Leave a comment

Jazzy, piano-pop songstress Nellie McKay just got done with a stint of tour dates for her death-row musical review I Want To Live! (double Oregon show review here).

Now she’s off with a new show entitled SILENT SPRING – It’s Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature, a tribute to trailblazing environmentalist, Rachel Carson (Nellie made up as Rachel to the right).

She is currently amidst her Silent Spring residency at Feinstein’s in NYC.  The show runs March 20 to 31, 2012.  No word on if Silent Spring will make it out of NYC for a tour, but this seems similar to the path that I Want To Live! took… so, who knows, maybe we’ll see Silent Spring out West in late 2012/early 2013?

Listen to Nellie’s version of the song “Rio de Lua (Moon River)” below:

Shara Worden / My Brightest Diamond has recorded a guitar-based version of “I Have Never Loved Someone” for a limited release (1000 hand-numbered copies) as a 7″ through Holland-based Nowhere Fast Records.  For the B-side, Shara has sung Leonard Cohen’sBird On A Wire” with guitar accompaniment by Marc Ribot.  The album is set for release on Record Store Day (21 April 2012), and it will be available in Europe, the UK and the US markets.

~Dan – np: Boards of CanadaMusic Has the Right to Children

PHOTOS: Drive-By Truckers @ Skip’s CD World (Eugene, OR – 3/18/12)

18th Mar 12 (Sun) Leave a comment

“One third” of the alt-country indie rock group Drive-By Truckers (Patterson Hood & Jay Gonzalez) stopped Skip’s CD World in Eugene, Oregon, for a 30 minute in-store session ahead of their show tonight at McDonald Theatre

all pictures (cc) 2012 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)



Of the songs I could identify… “Betty Ford,” “Polly Anna,” “Old Timer’s Disease,” “Margo and Harold,” and “Mercy Buckets.”

Drive By Truckers: SITE / Facebook / Twitter

Skip’s CD WorldSITE / Facebook / Twitter

~Dan – np: The Blood BrothersCrimes

REVIEW: David Bazan @ House Show (Portland, OR – 2/15/12)

16th Feb 12 (Thu) 1 comment

David Bazan is a busy man… he just got done with a 40+ date band tour in Nov/Dec 2011, and now he’s off and running with another near-40 date living room tour in Feb/Mar 2012.  His proximity (Seattle) to me (Oregon I-5 corridor) means I get to take in a lot of his shows.  Even though I just saw him with his band at Sam Bond’s in December, the living room tours are so fun and intimate.  I had to hit the Portland show last night…

He arrived about an hour late… first night of tour, and got stuck in traffic coming out of Seattle.  The good thing: hanging out in someone’s living room and kitchen sippin’ a beer is waaaaay better than hanging out at a stinky club playing LMFAO on loop.

After setting up his small cube amp, he kicked into his set…

Setlist: about 70 minutes

  • Cold Beer and Cigarettes
  • Wolves at the Door
  • Hard to Be
  • Q&A #1
  • Priests and Paramedics [Pedro the Lion]
  • Transcontinental [Pedro the Lion]
  • Shit Talker [Headphones]
  • Q&A #2
  • Packt Like Sardines In A Crushd Tin Box [Radiohead]
  • Options [Pedro the Lion]
  • Virginia
  • Bearing Witness
  • Q&A #3
  • Strange Negotiations
    No Encore

A little shorter set than in the past, but I think that may have been due to running late.  The original “everyone needs to be out time” was 10pm, but he didn’t get going until 9:15pm.  So, for the rest of the living room tour, don’t judge the set length on Portland.  Despite the shorter set, I think it was a pretty good show… David was in a great mood and quite chatty as usual.

The somber take on “Wolves at the Door” was excellent… slower and a bit haunting compared to the version the band was belting out last year.  Another favorite was the return of the Radiohead cover that he played last year.  First three notes and goosebumps.  Such a great song.

There weren’t any new tunes played, which was a bit striking – as David is working on a new album, and it might even be done and to the label (Barsuk) by the beginning of May.  He said it could come out in August/September, but a lot of that depends on delivery to the label.

The Appropriate Linkage:

This was his first date of this tour… check out more tour dates below.

Next show for me… MEDGE (bellydancing) at Cozmic Pizza (2/17) and then post-rockers Talkdemonic at Sam Bond’s Garage (2/24).

~Dan – np: John Zorn’s The DreamersO’o

David Bazan – Winter 2012 House Show Tour

2/15 – Portland, OR
2/16 – Sacramento, CA
2/17 – Oakland, CA
2/18 – Los Angeles, CA
2/19 – Long Beach, CA
2/20 – Orange, CA
2/21 – Carlsbad, CA
2/22 – Phoenix, AZ
2/24 – Clinton, OK
2/25 – Denton, TX
2/26 – Dallas, TX
2/27 – Austin, TX
2/28 – Houston, TX
2/29 – Baton Rouge, LA
3/02 – Orlando, FL
3/03 – Jacksonville, FL
3/04 – Altanta, GA
3/05 – Nashville, TN
3/06 – Asheville, NC
3/07 – Charlotte, NC
3/09 – Charlottesville, VA
3/10 – Baltimore, MD
3/11 – Philadelphia, PA
3/12 – Brooklyn, NY
3/13 – Brooklyn, NY
3/14 – Boston, MA
3/15 – Buffalo, NY
3/16 – Cleveland, OH
3/17 – Three Rivers, MI
3/18 – Chicago, IL
3/19 – Madison, WI
3/21 – Minneapolis, MN
3/22 – Lincoln, NE
3/23 – Lawrence, KS
3/24 – Denver, CO
3/25 – Salt Lake City, UT
3/26 – Boise, ID
3/27 – Spokane, WA

Bad Veins “Dancing on TV” (video premiere)

8th Feb 12 (Wed) Leave a comment

Secret Chiefs 3 & Dengue Fever reviews/setlists/photos from the Eugene & Portland gigs to be
posted tomorrow (Thursday 2/9).  Go here for a teaser… now on to some music news…

As previously mentioned, Cincinnati indie power-pop duo Bad Veins have a new album coming out soon… April 24th – The Mess We’ve Made (Modern Outsider Records).  They just released their video for “Dancing on TV,” featuring a quaint 70s retro vision and the Bad Veins signature move of girl-meets-boy and missed connections… ’tis quite cute:

Pre-order for The Mess We’ve Made is coming soon, per the label.  Bad Veins are not hitting my coast this time… but here are some of their spring tour dates:

Bad Veins 2012 Tour Dates
03/19 – Denver, CO @ Hi Dive *

03/20 – Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room *
03/21 – Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater *
03/22 – Dekalb, IL @ The House *
03/23 – Chicago, IL @ Bottom Lounge *
03/24 – Madison, WI @ Majestic Lounge *
03/25 – Iowa City, IA @ The Blue Moose Tap *
03/27 – Bloomington, IN @ Bluebird Nightclub *
03/28 – Louisville, KY @ Headliner’s Music Hall *
03/29 – Nashville, TN @ Exit/ In *
03/30 – Birmingham, AL @ Bottletree *
03/31 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade *
04/02 – Tampa, FL @ Crowbar *
04/03 – Miami, FL @ Bardot *
04/04 – Orlando, FL @ The Social *
04/05 – Columbia, SC @ New Brookland Tavern *
04/07 – Durham, NC @ Motorco *
04/10 – Baltimore, MD @ Sonar *
04/11 – Pawtucket, RI @ The Met Café *
04/12 –  Hamden, CT @ The Space *
04/13 – Philadelphia, PA @ Milkboy
04/14 – Annapolis, MA @ The Whiskey
04/15 – Allston, MA @ Great Scott
04/16 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
05/31 – Dallas, TX @ House of Blues ^
06/01 – Austin, TX @ Stubbs BBQ ^
06/04 – Orlando, FL @ Beacham Theater ^
06/05 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution ^
06/06 – Tampa, FL @ The Ritz ^
06/10 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade ^
06/11 – Carrboro,NC @ Cat’s Cradle ^
06/12 – Baltimore, MD @ Ram’s Head Live! ^

* = w/ We Were Promised Jetpacks
^ = w/ Two Door Cinema Club

~Dan – np: Sean LennonRosencrantz & Guildenstern are Undead

Wussy to embark on 2012 West Coast tour (needs help)

7th Feb 12 (Tue) Leave a comment

Cincinnati dusty indie rock quartet Wussy are going to hit the West Coast for the first time in June.  Their latest album, Strawberry, is EXCELLENT, and it is going to be available as a limited edition vinyl for Record Store Day 2012.  They’ve made a map for their tour in June, now they need our help…

We’ve just posted the itinerary for our first ever west coast tour in the events section here on FB. In case it wasn’t obvious, we do pretty much everything ourselves here in Wussyland and we need your help. We’ve never played most of these cities and whatever help you can give in finding appropriate venues and contacts we’d really appreciate it. In order to keep this a little more organized post your info in the event for the actual city we’re playing. We’re coming, we just need to figure out where!













~Dan – np: MadLoveWhite With Foam

REVIEW: Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra @ Mississippi Studios (Portland, OR – 2/4/12)

6th Feb 12 (Mon) Leave a comment

FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM

Montreal’s Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra appear to have an identity crisis.  They’ve been known as A Silver Mt. Zion, The Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra and Tra-La-La Band with Choir, and Thee Silver Mountain Reveries.  For short hand, I’ll simply refer to them as Silver Mt Zion.  I’ll admit, I am new to their music… I got into them via ambient post-rock giants Godspeed You! Black Emperor, who share three members with Silver Mt Zion (singer/guitarist Efrim Menuck, violinist Sophie Trudeau, and bassist Thierry Amar).

More on Silver Mt Zion later…

The opener was a one-man band called Total Life.  He played a 25-minute, ambient/drone guitar & loop set (his clear guitar to the right).  It had a slow burn, then quickly morphed into a wall of sound.

For most opening gigs, this would not do, but for a post-something crowd, Total Life’s 25 minute experiment showed the audience’s patience and respect.  All bundled up, he was barely moving making the sounds, but sweat started dripping down his forehead and nose until the final note.

While GY!BE tend to stay in the ethereal, ambient, sweeping post-rock movement, Silver Mt Zion are a little more difficult to pin down.  They have many components similar to GY!BE, but they definitely write more in a “song” vein, with vocals.  Yet, I wouldn’t call them a singer-songwriter troupe.  The first two “songs” alone clocked in at 35 minutes.  They sweep, they go places, come back.  The vocals sometimes have choruses, and sometimes it more resembles lofty prayers… to whom? I do not know.

Their label describes their influences as “free jazz, community sight-singing, Minimalism and American folkways – still anchored to a punk-rock take on neo-classical and modern music tropes.”  If that narrows it down for you, well, you’re more forgiving of “genre-fication” than I.  Whatever you want to call them, they made great music on Saturday night at Mississippi Studios in Portland.

Setlist: about 90 minutes

  • 13 Blues for Thirteen Moons
  • There Is A Light
  • What We Loved Was Not Enough
  • Black Waters Blowed / Engine Broke Blues
  • Take Away These Early Grave Blues
  • Blind, Blind, Blind
  • Horses In The Sky
  • Encore: God Bless Our Dead Marines

more photos below

The Appropriate Linkage:

They only have a select number of dates on this tour.  Definitely go see them if you have the chance!  Check out more tour dates below.

Next shows for me… back-to-back Secret Chiefs 3 & Dengue Fever co-headlining in both Eugene (2/6 WOW Hall) and Portland (2/7 Dante’s).

~Dan – np: John ZornFilm Works IX: Trembling Before G-d

THEE SILVER MT ZION MEMORIAL ORCHESTRA PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2012 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution

(click for larger)

Thee Silver Mt Zion — 2012 Jan/Feb Tour Dates

  • 31.01.12 Calgary, CAN The Republik
  • 02.02.12 Vancouver, CAN The Rickshaw Theatre
  • 03.02.12 Seattle, USA The Crocodile
  • 04.02.12 Portland, USA Mississippi Studios
  • 06.02.12 San Francisco, USA Great American Music Hall
  • 07.02.12 Santa Ana, CA, USA Constellation Room
  • 08.02.12 Los Angeles, USA Troubadour
  • 09.02.12 San Diego, USA Casbah
  • 10.02.12 Tucson, USA Club Congress
  • 12.02.12 Dallas, USA Sons of Hermann Hall
  • 13.02.12 Austin, USA The Mohawk
  • 14.02.12 New Orleans, USA One Eyed Jacks
  • 15.02.12 Birmingham, USA Bottletree
  • 16.02.12 Cincinnati, USA MOTR Pub
  • 17.02.12 Buffalo, USA Soundlab
  • 18.02.12 Ottawa, CAN First Baptist Church
  • 19.02.12 Montreal, CAN La Tulipe

Bad Veins – The Mess We’ve Made

25th Jan 12 (Wed) 1 comment
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